Illinois co-parenting: Thinking quantitatively and qualitatively

Divorced parents in Illinois and throughout the country often think of co-parenting in two ways: quantitatively and qualitatively. The quantitative side pertains to money and, in particular, child support. The qualitative side involves the relationship each parent has with the child; in particular, visitation time and child custody plans are important.

It’s clear that child support payments are necessary for the well-being of the child, but multiple studies have shown the importance of having both parents play a role in the child’s life. These studies indicate that children who don’t benefit from both parents’ nurturing are more likely to have a hard time in a variety of ways.

In short, kids feel much better when they have the appropriate quantity of material support, as well as quality time with parents and other family members.

Divorced parents in Illinois who have co-parenting concerns may have heard of a recent bill passed by Governor Quinn. Our state has long penalized non-custodial parents who neglect to pay child support, but this new law seeks to also make parents hold up their end of a visitation schedule.

Under the new law, courts can suspend a non-custodial parent’s driver’s license if he or she violates a visitation order. The same kind of penalty was already on the books for failing to pay child support.

Proponents of the law see it as a sign that Illinois recognizes how important visitation time is to a child’s development. Parents who are going through a divorce will want to take the time to establish a custody and visitation arrangement that works for everyone involved.

Source: The State Journal-Register, “Letter: Credit Quinn for signing Watkins bill,” Aug. 28, 2012

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Illinois co-parenting: Thinking quantitatively and qualitatively